So how am I doing on my plan to finish the book without making myself crazy? Pretty damned good. I swam on Monday, couldn’t swim today because of my shrink but will swim tomorrow. Wrote 4500 words on Tuesday and 4800 today. Lessee — how many pages? Approximately 40, given dialogue. I’ve done better, but this isn’t a contest to see how fast and how much I can write. This is a contest to see whether I can finish a book and stay sane.
So far,so good. No, I haven’t been able to work on any crafts, but I’ve been smart enough to stop working before I really go nuts. I’m two scenes away from finishing the draft, but I’ve decided to stop because those two scenes, much as I’d love to finish them, would put me over the edge. (I’m writing this Wednesday night, since I’m going to jump right into it and finish it tomorrow morning before I go out).
If I can just manage to get a little crafting done this week I’ll really count myself a goddess, but even so, I’m well on my way to getting through the big push with sanity and health intact.
Which is real progress. Let’s just hope I don’t forget next time around.
I’ve been thinking a lot about calling my son the Serpent’s Tooth. I’ve had mixed feelings about it myself, since as I mentioned yesterday that I don’t necessarily feel children should have to be grateful all the time.
I think I’ve been calling him that and avoiding using his real name because his real name is who I love. ST is just a nickname for the negative stuff that I sometimes have to deal with, and by separating names I can separate him. I can dump all my frustration on the Serpent’s Tooth, leaving me free to love Tim.
(Yup, that’s his name).
So I’m not sure what I should do. He’s 24 so his privacy doesn’t need to be protected like Sweetness and Light, but I’m squeamish about putting his and his sister’s name out for anyone to google. People may know their mother is a writer but they don’t necessarily know under what name.
Maybe I should come up with a name a little less loaded. I’m not sure. I want this to be a safe place for everyone, me included, and I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. I don’t want to censor myself, either, but the ST is just a literary throwaway, not anything that’s ever been the way I’ve thought of him. He’s my wounded baby boy and I’d die for him.
Sigh. Let go and let go. Let go or be dragged.
Anyway, I digress.
I’m writing, staying sane, dealing with mother and child, laughing with my husband over silly things (I told him I wanted to bite him on the neck so I could mark him as mine like the shape shifters in Nalini Singh’s books and we got to giggling). One more day managing to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.
How are you guys doing?

44 thoughts on “Krissie:

  1. It’s all about finding balance, and it sounds like you’re doing it. I tend to binge-everything. I binge write, then the rest of my life falls apart. I binge going to the gym, which sounds great, until you realize that your kids aren’t getting homework done because you’re at the gym seven days a week, and no one has time to cook a decent meal. And then there’s my relationship with food, which definitely falls into the binge category.

    I just got back from taking my kids to Disneyworld (another type of binge, moneywise). If there’s a healthy eating menu at Disney, I didn’t look too hard for it. I haven’t stepped onto the scale since I’ve been back, but decided against it. It’s not like I vacation all that often, and I refuse to feel guilty for eating pastries in France (Epcot). Sometimes you just have to live.

    As for what to call your son in your blog, I vote on the side of protection (being a mom). Everyone deserves their privacy. And while you may want Refabbers to like him in much the same way you want Lani and Jenny to like him (even if we’ll never meet him, it’s impossible for a mom not to want that), it’s more important that you have a safe place to vent and feel free to release some of the internal stress that can have a negative impact on your health.

  2. Ylva Hedin says:

    I really get the need to call the son ST and I do not really think its bad. Just becouse one can truly see that you love him, regardless.
    we have storm here today and its still early moring (08.04)later today I have to clean out the dogs area of the garden becouse our pergola has flown to them… then today I will make soup. Thats healthy and great comfort food!

    You are doing great and as always you are inspiering and really good! Keep it up!

  3. Every time I see ‘ST’ I think of Snaggle Tooth I have no idea why. 🙂

    You’ve made it to the last scenes of your book, that’s got to be celebrated … Ohio is calling 😉 Take Richard. He and Alastair can swap stories. I know it’s probably not practicable, but it’s a nice idea.

    Let it go or be dragged. Is a great motto.

  4. Update — well, maybe not as healthy as I’d hoped. Couldn’t sleep, so got out of bed at 3:30 and finished the book at a little before 6 am. Now I’m going to bed. But still, I think I’ve done relatively well in the mental health department. We’ll see how tired I am when I get up.

  5. I’m just back from a short trip to Florida. Got to spend time with my mother, who’s not well, but not dying, so yay! I also saw my sister, who has a very challenging child. The whole situation is sad, but I just try and support her any way I can. My heart really aches for them all, because he’s not unlike my autism spectrum kids.

    I’ve been on a great writing streak (for me), which just makes me happy, happy, happy. Some of my kids go back to school today, so real life will return in stages. I would continue to opt for privacy for your son, so maybe you can just use the initials–ST, or his own.

    Just a reminder–you’re awesome!

  6. Sounds like you are doing wonderfully well so far. One day at a time and don’t break the chain 🙂

    I vote for protecting your son’s privacy because no matter how old he is, he would probably appreciate that. As for what you call him, you decide. You’ve already explained why you chose that particular name, it’s a bit tongue in cheek and yet does sum up some of your own frustration. If there are people visiting Refab who can’t deal with that, then perhaps they need to avoid your posts or this place. It’s YOUR place after all. You are the one who needs to feel most comfortable here.

  7. Tracey says:

    I’m with Jenyfer — this is your space, and you kindly invite us in. We don’t own you, and while some who lurk/post do know you, most of us don’t. So really, it’s not for us to comment on your family business, although clearly you request it. Speaking for myself, I probably wouldn’t hv commented on the ST controversy, had another poster not brought it up. We don’t hv all the backstory — you do. I love that the net lets me kibbutz on three of my fave writers and their creative processes, but the virtual proximity yields a false reality, and sometimes boundaries get blurry; plus, it’s easy to write something you’d think twice about saying F2F. If this were a church coffee clatch and you mentioned your son the ST, would someone have piped up and blamed you for all his woes? No. But I digress — sort of — from your question. Yes to privacy, and call him ST. It’s better than A**hat!

  8. I vote with you calling him whatever you want after all this blog’s for you. Of all the names I’ve heard parents call their offspring I would say that ST is so low on the offensive scale as to be negligible. In fact I am thinking of calling one of my nephews that just to see what he thinks. He’s 19 and sometimes I just want to …. then there are other times when I just want to hold him and love him. I have over 20 nieces and nephews but he lives closest and we recently lived together (his mother, he and I) for about a year. It was tough!
    A few weeks ago I told my sister that if either of our brothers had spoken to mom the way her son speaks to her she would have knee capped them at the very least. She agreed but she loves him and so do I. So, we both verbally take him down when he gets to be too much. At supper out the other night his mouth was going but not his brain and finally I told him that in one way in particular he was NOT like my father (the boy thinks it’s a compliment whenever we tell him he is … it isn’t), my father was always a gentleman when we dined out. He shut up and you could see the wheels turning as he thought this through. The difficult thing about people is that we are a work in progress.
    Congratulations on finsihing your book and still being more or less sane!
    I do disagree with the child should be grateful thing. From the point of a view of the child I am grateful in so many ways that I had the parents I had. Had they been different, I would have been different and although I have issues, most of them cannot be laid at their parental door. I think a child raised by loving parents should be grateful to the parents in the healthiest sense of the word. There is so much disrespect shown towards parents by so many people who think they can do better, it’s mind boggling. Gratitude to the parents is another way of showing respect.

  9. Tara says:

    I’m not normally a person who posts comments, but I’m findng that the blogs from the last few day are pushing me to comment. I’ve been reading this blog since the three of you started it and I have to say to Krissie, You have such an awesome personality that it shines right through your comments. To Jenny and Lani your love for Krissie shines just as bright. The three of you have made me laugh and cry and have inspired me to make some changes for myself.
    As a 36 year old SAHM of three (2 boys, 1 girl), I have just moved my family in with my 85 yr old father in law (who has stage 4 cancer), I’ve been giving my all to everybody. Your blog has helped me realize I need to make time for myself too. Even if it’s just doing the grocery run alone.
    Krissie if you feel the need to call your son a different name to separate out the behavoir, thats what you need to do. My opinion is that this give you the option of still saying “I love you, but I don’t like what you’re doing”. My 6 yr old has become difficult for me to handle lately (he may be too much like me)and I’ve started using that phrase.
    All three of you are doing great jobs with making changes in your lives, Krissie and Jenny with your health and Lani with trying new things, I’m looking forward to seeing where you go next.

  10. June says:

    I always thought Serpent’s Tooth was witty and kind of sweet. Maybe we have the same sense of humor. To me it seems like a very healthy way to recognize the things he does that are destructive to himself and those around him. At the same time it seems kind of affectionate and knowingly over dramatic. I never thought of it as cruel. Plus, when you are dealing with a addict or other person struggling with demonns, it is really important to try to deal with what is there, not with what you wish. Your comments about ST always seemed to acknowledge your anger, hurt and frustration without ranting. Just my two cents.

  11. Tracey says:

    Lol, kneecapping. One of my earliest at-home dinners w/my in-laws to be (Grandma-in-law, MIL, SIL, BIL and future spouse) resembled the family dinner scene in SaturdaybNight Fever where Aslaps B slaps C…ok, no-one actually hit anyone, but it was a lot of personal verbal nastiness that I as an outsider (brand new GF; who knew I’d stick around?) didn’t need to see. The children were adults all in their mid- to late-20s. I went home thinking about the time i was 15 and made my mom cry at the dinner table. My dad smacked me so hard across the face I nearly feel off my chair. My in- laws could have used a little Dad action that night!

  12. McB says:

    I don’t have a problem with your referring to your son as ST. It’s acknowledging that dark side. To stick with Shakespeare, if a rose is a rose by any other name, then a thorn is still a thorn. No point in pretending it’s a buttercup.

    But then I’m from a family where nicknames are common, usually earned in youth, and develop into terms of affection. Outsiders don’t get it, but then they don’t have to.

  13. German Chocolate Betty says:

    So true — outsiders often don’t get the weird dynamics that can be a family.

    In my own family (who all get along remarkably well), many, many years ago someone (probably the elder of my two brothers, but it’s lost in the mists of time) started sending really tasteless birthday cards. We favor farts. Especially on cards for my dad (who, yup, farts a lot). For my mom it’s often Maxine-style cards. The more insulting the better. We have more fun picking out truly disgusting, tasteless and insulting cards for one another.

    Once, when I was back in the States, a German girlfriend was along as I picked out a birthday card for my mom. She gasped when she saw the one I selected and said, omigod, you can’t give that to your MOTHER!! Well, most moms, yeah, but mine was used to it.

    So used to it that when she, one year, got a hearts-and-flowers, you’re-a-wonderful-mom kind of birthday card from my brother and his wife, she called my brother up and chewed him out for sending his damn wife out to get her card. After she wound down, he said, gee, Mom, I thought you’d like a nice one for a change.

    (Never happened again…!)

    Hahahaaaaaaa. Family insider stuff. No outsider ever gets them.

  14. Congrats on finishing the book.

    Your posts about your son have been amazing and so generous of you to share.
    Sometimes, individuation is as tough on parents as it is on kids. Finding the balance between guiding our children and being responsible for them is especially hard. Even more so when it costs us too much of ourselves.

    That piece “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran is quite wise. The whole thing is worth rereading, but this bit is particularly apt:

    “You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    Think you’re doing great. Your son is lucky to have you. And when he’s ready to make changes, he knows he’ll have your support. That’s gold. I think taking care of yourself so you’re strong and healthy in the meantime is the best you can do to be ready for that day.

  15. Oh, that’s a great name. Snaggle Tooth.

    Maybe ST could be like DH. Sometimes it’s Dear Husband and sometimes it’s Damned Husband, depending on what he’s done lately.

  16. Rebecca (Another One) says:

    I saw ST as not truly mean, because the one King Lear called the serpent’s tooth was actually the caring one.

  17. Your place. Your rules. Don’t feel guilty about the comments of one person, or second-guess your original intent. You used ST as a way for you to deal with a difficult situation. And with affection.

    Maybe abbreviate it when you speak here and those of us who are your followers will know and smile, newcomers or those who ride in on a high horse will think it stands for his initials. Like Steven Thomas. : )

    So, congrats! on the writing. You are awesome! Hope you got a good sleep after going back to bed.

  18. Diane L. says:

    Could it be that the angry poster of the other day was ST? The screen name made me wonder.

    A blog is a very public space and people featured there, even if adults, may feel violated and angry at the total lack of control that they have over what is posted.

    I understand the name Serpent’s Tooth and continuing to use it would be fine if that works best for you but maybe it’s time to consider a gentler nickname? Something that shows the love as well as the frustration?

  19. Carrie Trimble says:

    Smarter woman than I have already said this, but I don’t think you need to second guess the nom de ‘net you assigned your son. This is your space, and you should use it as you see fit. All these bright women wouldn’t stick around if you were truly belittling someone. (Who needs to go to the Internet for that?)

  20. Marcia in OK says:

    Your the mom – call him what works for you.

    And Congratulations on finishing the draft!

    It is so great to “hear” the determination and consideratino for yourself in your posts.

    Thanks again for sharing and giving us a place to hang out.

  21. I am pretty much the poster girl for not doing it the right way. Not enough balance. Not enough common sense. Now, I’ve got an icepack rammed down my pants, no word count, and a crumpled candy bar wrapper to hide.

    I really wish I could bitchslap myself.

  22. Maine Betty says:

    As a little girl once told me: Give yowah body a bwake! Bitch slapping would just mean more ice packs.

  23. Maria says:

    ST is so much better than several of the names that I’ve called my one nephew and I didn’t say them with love, or affection. They came purely from hurt, frustration and the resulting anger.

    I think that we can expect too much from ourselves. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, but I’d avoid your children’s real names because while they are not underage, they both still have a right to a certain level of privacy. My two cents and with inflation it is worth far less.

    Woo-hoo for being this close to finishing the book and remaining in a place of health and well being, too.

    Rock on.

  24. Melanie says:

    Got to be good that you finished! Something in you wanted to get it done, so you woke up and finished. Not necessarily unhealthy, just that it wouldn’t wait. Hope you were able to go back to sleep! Now crafts and swimming and other fun stuff! And as you may have noticed from my post yesterday, I love the ST moniker. And what you said about it being a characterization of only those things about him that hurt you, that makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems uber-healthy. Seems like a really sane way to cope with the fact that there he’s got a dark side. What do you call YOUR dark side? Only asking because I’ve been spending the day thinking about the aspects of myself and my loved ones that are, shall we say, less than perfect, and trying to come up with fun names for them. Nothing ST-worthy yet, though.

  25. Tara, I take care of my aging parents, as well as my elderly grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. You MUST make time to take care of yourself. You can only give so much before you have to refill the well of care you are constantly emptying into the vessels of others. YOU must be your first priority, so that you maintain your strength to be there for others. If you do not already have a hospice situation, you need to look into it. It is important for all of your family that you get rest and care as well. 🙂

  26. Do not bitchslap yourself. Mistakes happen. We need to be kinder to ourselves, not beat up on ourselves. We are glorious, even in our mistakes.

  27. *snort* Side of the pants. Like a dollar bill stuck in a stripper’s g-string. Except, it’s a icepack that’s spent some time flirting with a package of broccoli, and it’s a pair of granny panties that no one in their right mind would flirt with.

  28. PatchworkBetty says:

    Krissie, ST is perfect no matter what the initials stand for on a given day or at a given moment…you are his Mom, love him and that’s what matters!

  29. Micki says:

    (-: So glad to hear you survived the finishing of the book! You do rock.

    About the name thing. If you are having second thoughts, look at them carefully. And then have your third thoughts, and follow those. You will know what’s right for you right now . . . and the rest of us can offer all sorts of ass-vice and opinions, but it really comes down to: what is useful for you? What is safe for you and your family? You know this better than any of us, and I think your solution is a good one.

  30. LOL! Stephen is The Prince when I feel tender and fluffy toward him, and sometimes when I really want to just smack him upside the head but am fighting to turn my attitude around before I trample his tender feelings.

    I dig Serpent’s Tooth as a nickname, poisonally ;-P Though now I’ll probably start reading it as Snaggle Tooth as well. Which works, either way.

    Krissie, you are wonderful and brilliant and fookin’ impressive in your progress! *raising my glass to you*

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